IMO okays contingency guidelines against piracy
The maritime security committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved the contingency guidelines for company security officers.
The maritime security committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved the contingency guidelines for company security officers on hijacking by pirates in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, which supplements existing guidelines.
The MSC noted the latest statistics on piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, where ships continue to be attacked and hijacked, despite the efforts of the international community, spearheaded by IMO, navies and the industry, to protect shipping.
The committee was also updated on measures taken by IMO to assist states in implementing the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.
Following the establishment of a distribution facility at IMO headquarters in London, for the provision of flag State Long Range Identification and Tracking of ships (LRIT) information to security forces operating in waters of the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean, the IMO Secretary-General has received requests from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) for the provision of access to the distribution facility.
Both security forces had indicated that the flag State LRIT information they would receive through the distribution facility would be used to enhance the protection of all ships navigating in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean, irrespective of their flag, and for the protection of ships delivering humanitarian aid to Somalia.
The MSC also approved the revised Principles of Safe Manning, with a view to adoption by the IMO assembly in 2011. It also approved amendments to SOLAS regulation V/14 relating to mandatory requirements for determining safe manning, with a view to adoption by MSC 90, which will be held in 2012.
The aim is to ensure that a ship is sufficiently, effectively and efficiently manned to provide safety and security of the ship, safe navigation and operations at sea and in port, prevention of human injury or loss of life, the avoidance of damage to the marine environment and to property, and to ensure the welfare and health of seafarers through the avoidance of fatigue.
IMO said these objectives can be achieved through the adoption of a goal-based approach; standard procedures for effective implementation; and effective enforcement.
The proposed resolution detailed guidance on implementing safe manning, including: guidelines for the application of the principles of safe manning; the determination of minimum safe manning; responsibilities in the application of principles of minimum safe manning; content and model form of minimum safe manning document; and framework for determining minimum safe manning.